A small quiz

Some time ago, a person closely related to printing and graphic arts, made this comment:

“For instance, I predict voice input—just talk into a machine to set type. I see paperless typewriters. I see electronic books. And even here I am projecting much of current technology into a time when there will be new technologies we can not even be aware of.”

Aside from ending a sentence with a preposition, this person was thinking outside of the box. And those of us still creating printed images with hand set type may be unaware of things like electronic books. Who is this person and can the approximate date of the dire predictions be determined?

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Use of the word Electronic places it after the invention of the triode, (1906)
Electronics wasn’t the common term for another 40 years (it was usually referred to as Radio, as in the Liverpool store front that I saw in the late 80’s marked “Electrical Hessey’s Radio Cycles”)

So we are looking at the 1950s onwards I would guess. Before 1980 though as a paperless typewriter would not be a prediction by then. So that gives us a thirty year window.

I would guess the earlier end of that so, sometime between 1950 and 1959.

As to who said it, I don’t have a clue.

(I work in IT designing and managing large computer systems, printing is just a hobby I picked up from my Father.)

A little hint for my little quiz. This individual has been quoted within the past 3 days with saying: “I want to do something that has never been done before.” And no fair using Google to track this down.

A better hint—the person’s picture:


Having worked out the man’s name through the use of Google, and having a date for when the original quote appeared, (having cheated I will not comment on the actual answers) I would say that searching Google Books for that second quote gives you a very interesting short story that is completely unrelated.

Timeframe, I’d guess in the late ’50s. Since I know the person in question, it would be unfair to just blurt out his name, but he is heavily involved in a printing museum (no surprise…).

Zwack used used the search function in Google Books which took less than a second to find the quote in the October 1975 issue of the Inland Printer, on page 108. I found it the hard way by reading the actual magazine. Bill is also spot on as many Briar Press people know or know of Frank Romano. But the first person to identify him out side of Briar Press was Nick Sherman.

Frank is retired from teaching about printing, but continues as a consultant and has been an instrumental force at The Printing Museum in Haverhill. Last week was Print 17 Graph Expo held in Chicago and Frank was there and gave this memorable performance: http://whattheythink.com/video/86845-random-automation-print-17/

An interesting feature of Google Books is that they list all the libraries that have Inland Printer collections that partner with them in digitizing books. For Frank’s quote they listed several sources but I question their inclusion of the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley. I have their bound volume 176 of the Inland Printer here at my desk and it has rubber stamped in several locations “Discarded.” Since that year of 1975 is not in the public domain, I couldn’t find a way to browse through the October issue on Google Books. But the real thing is better.

The Google Books search will show you an excerpt of a paragraph if you are lucky for the books still in copyright.

I did find it amusing that searching for the second quote in Google Books finds a single much earlier reference to a short story.

Thank you for the diversion, and my guesses were pretty awful.

As I edit the double post…

In some cases Google books will show you part of the page that has none of the quote you searched for in it. All this tells you is that you might want to read that publication in case it is relevant.

I failed the quiz but got an invitation in my email this morning, Frank will be speaking at the .918 Club in Lancaster next week! Anyone interested in going should contact them thru the site at www.918club.org

Special .918 Club Meeting

Tuesday, September 26 – 7pm
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
Steinman Center of Graphic Communication and Printing Technology
60 Parkside Avenue, Lancaster, PA

Special guest speaker:
Frank Romano
Professor Emeritus RIT
President of The Museum of Printing in Haverhill, MA

RSVP: Friday, September 22